‘American Idol': Mariah Faith Dubbed a ‘Star’ by Katy Perry After Impressive Country Audition [Watch]
Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie headed to Las Vegas, New Orleans and Nashville for the next round of Season 21 American Idol auditions on Sunday (March 19).
First up to stand in front of the celebrity cast was 21-year-old Mariah Faith. She auditioned with Vince Gill’s “Whenever You Come Around.”
However, halfway through her performance, Perry told her she was “playing it safe” and asked her to channel Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” instead.
Her second go-around proved better for the judges and even earned the contestant a smile of approval from Bryan, who admitted that Faith’s voice gave him chills.
“You’ve got a little glaze in your eye,” Perry told Bryan as she pointed out his facial expression.
“I know. It was amazing!” Bryan acknowledged. “Well. I had chills the whole time during that performance.”
Turning toward Faith, Bryan added, “You are on the edge of, like, greatness. You’ve just got it all, in my opinion. It doesn’t matter if you hit a wrong note. It’s still right.”
“What we just heard is just the tip of the iceberg,” Richie added. “But your potential could take you seriously all the way.”
Perry, added, beaming: “There are so many subtleties in your voice. I mean I’m hanging onto every syllable. You have this natural cry and gospel that we can hear. You are a star. You really are. You’ve got it. You have one of the most interesting voices this season.”
Faith — who donned a colorful, quilted pair of overalls for her time on TV — was raised in Conway, S.C. – a state her family moved to after she was born in Baltimore. She told viewers she lost her her best friend, her stepdad, who helped fuel her passion for music at an early age and was the sole purpose of her experiencing her childhood years in the Carolinas.
“He was my biggest supporter,” Faith shared. “ When my mom got with my stepdad, it was, like, holy crap. We had waited years to feel this love. He heard that I could sing, and he was like, ‘That’s it. We’re moving. She needs to be where people can help her.’ So he moved me out to South Carolina. I started singing, playing piano, and doing dance classes. Somehow he just knew I deserved to be singing.”
Sadly, Faith’s stepdad died on Easter of 2019 after suffering from an unexpected heart attack. Faith continues to stay driven to pursue music, despite the loss of someone dear to her heart.
Luckily, she is getting another shot at winning the Idol crown as all three judges voted her through to Hollywood. Not only that, but they also offered Faith the opportunity to open for Season 20 American Idol runner-up HunterGirl and winner Noah Thompson in Nashville.
“Performing on the stage means so much to me. All the doubt I’ll ever have as an artist or in myself just got swept completely away from me,” Faith said of sharing the stage with HunterGirl and Thompson. “It feels like a dream come true to know that I could be in their shoes like, literally, just give me a year. Tonight has definitely been the best night of my life.”
American Idol airs Sundays at 8PM ET on ABC.